If you’re looking to spend less to buy more, online retailers Shein and Temu have probably already crossed your radar. The two fast-fashion retailers are based in China, and their increasing popularity in the United States has created a fierce rivalry between the two. Although the question “Is Temu safe?” is common, the store earned many loyal customers.
Earlier in 2023, both companies filed lawsuits against each other. Then they each dismissed the lawsuits, only to start the fight back up again when Temu filed a fresh lawsuit accusing Shein of “mafia-style intimidation.” The two companies are responsible for almost one-third of all packages arriving in the United States each year, so it’s understandable that the competition between the two is especially fierce.
Number of Temu reviews – 19.1K
Number of Shein reviews – 43.2K
Temu rating* – 3.2⭐⭐⭐
Shein rating* – 4.4⭐⭐⭐⭐
Claimed losses - $2.2M
Claimed losses - $6.7M
Successful calls – 17%/160K
Successful calls - 9%/170K
Resolved issues - 573
Resolved issues - 681
The low prices and sheer volume of goods on both sites is appealing, but are they the right choice for customers looking for how to shop wisely? We dug deeper into customer experiences in 2023 to see how both stores operate and which retailer is best for 2024.
- Examining the ratio of negative to positive reviews for Temu vs Shein, the latter has a higher percentage of negative feedback, accounting for 63%, while Temu has 39%.
- Temu and Shein offer diverse product selections across various categories. Despite aiming for quality, customer experiences vary, with some describing the items as "cheap," "poor material," and "less than standard quality."
- When comparing Temu vs Shein shipping and delivery, both are based in China and items are shipped from overseas, leading to extended delivery times in most cases.
Temu vs Shein: Pros and Cons from Customer Reviews
Shein and Temu are both China-based retailers who sell merchandise online and are very popular in the United States. In fact, Temu is the most popular shopping app downloaded in 2023 followed by Shein in second place. Shein focuses heavily on fast fashion with thousands of new items added to the site every week. Temu offers more than 200 different categories of items ranging from clothing to household items and just about everything in between.
Both Shein and Temu offer customers:
- An extremely large assortment of fast fashion and other retail items.
- Heavily discounted prices.
- Special coupons or offers like additional discounts or free shipping.
While there are customers who have many positive things to say about both companies in the Temu vs Shein competition, some of them have some negative feedback as well.
Shein reviews reveal that the biggest issue with the company is with shipping and delivery. 41% of Shein customer service calls were related to shipping issues. In one of the customer complaints the reviewer shared their frustration with a delayed delivery and explained:
My parcel hasnt arrived yet! Its almost 3 weeks!!! Its still in transit i dont understand why is it taking so long!
Currently, the Shein rating on PissedConsumer is 4.4 out of a possible 5 stars.
Customers have shared similar experiences through their Temu reviews as well. One customer complained that Temu uses “a shipping company that does not delivery packages and even loses packages!!” This customer “waited 6 hours outside in a wheelchair” for their package that never arrived despite a completed delivery notification. This review was updated later, however, and stated that:
Company fixed the issue and I have been provided with settlement agreement.
Currently, the Temu rating is 3.3 out of a possible 5 stars.
Shein and Temu both are companies with pros and cons according to their customers.
Temu vs Shein: Customer Service Experience
When it comes to Temu vs Shein, there are many similarities but also several distinct differences. 39% of Temu reviews and ratings are negative and 40% are positive. 43% of consumers would recommend the company to a friend. Currently, 63% of Shein reviews are negative and 16% are positive. Yet, 50% of customers say they might use Shein in the future for similar services or products.
The Temu customer support center is a collection of frequently asked questions on the website. There is no way to contact Temu customer service directly through the site. There is also not a Temu contact number listed, leading to additional customer frustrations.
One customer noted in their review about Temu customer service that
You can only email them once a day, so if you need to relay additional information, you cannot email them again until the next day.
The reviewer found this limitation “extremely annoying and time consuming.”
If you’re trying to contact Temu customer service beyond sending emails through the site, you can call (888) 495-8368 between 7 am and 11 pm EST.
When you visit the Shein customer support page, you’ll be prompted to type a message into a chat box to start a dialogue and get answers. There is also a frequently asked questions page and a log of service records once you sign into your own account. There is not a Shein contact number visible on the customer service page, however.
One customer noted how frustrating it is to find answers on the website in her video review about the company. She placed a Shein order and was charged incorrectly for shipping and was unable to resolve the issue. The lack of contact information leads to many customer’s frustrations as shared through their reviews on PissedConsumer.com.
If you’re trying to contact Shein customer service, there is no phone number to call. You can try to resolve your issue through the AI bot on the customer support page, send a request through your Shein account, or email the company at email@example.com.
Temu vs Shein: Product Range and Quality
The discussion about Temu vs Shein isn’t just about customer service and shipping. There are also many questions about the product quality on these websites since both platforms offer deals that seem too good to be true.
These concerns are addressed in a video about shopping online through these sites.
Does Temu have good quality?
So how is Temu quality? The responses through the Temu reviews on PissedConsumer.com can give us good insight into the products sold by the company. Among the many reviews, customers noted that the fabric of the clothes was not of good quality and some items were damaged. Other products are described as being “cheap quality” or “less than standard quality.”
One Temu customer ordered dressmaking scissors only to discover that the scissors are “very poor quality” and would not cut fabric. The pins she ordered were rusty, and this was not due to the packaging:
They appear to be wrapped ok, but they were definately rusty when I tried to put them into fabric the pin actually bent.
The reviewer also noted that she is “usually very pleased with products” but was “so disappointed” this time.
Of course, there are positive reviews that report “very good quality items” or items “of good quality for the most part.” In fact, one Temu reviewer made a note that despite her package being lost in the mail, the issue was “quickly resolved” and that every item she has “received has been very good quality items.” She highly recommends the company to others.
Perhaps the best description of Temu quality is the way one customer described it: quality varies. This may be why the Temu return policy is so generous.
Is Shein good quality?
Shein reviews also have a lot to say about the quality of the items sent by the company. According to reviews, Shein quality is “different from those in pictures.” The items apparently “look cheap” or have “poor material.” Some customers received damaged items or items that look as if they were worn by someone before being delivered to their home.
One Shein customer noted that her daughter ordered a backpack and “on the second day of school the strap broke.” She recommends that others “do not order” from the site. As the item was used, it will not qualify for a return in the Shein return policy.
Temu vs Shein: Shipping and Delivery
The official websites provide information that standard Temu shipping takes, on average, from 6 to 14 business days, while standard Shein shipping depends on the warehouse and takes, on average, up to 10 business days. However, the timing of Temu and Shein shipping often take customers by surprise.
Since both companies are located in China, Shein and Temu shipping may take longer than some customers are expecting. Both companies explain the time required to process orders in their warehouse and encourage customers to track delivery through the shipping notifications the company sends once the order is fully processed.
This frustration about issues with shipping is shared in various Shein and Temu reviews. For example, shipping challenges are frequently discussed in Shein complaints. Many reviewers note that there are frequent items missing in Shein deliveries. In a video review a consumer asked Shein customer service for answers when she only received one out of eight items she ordered. The TikTok community chimed in with similar experiences in the video comments.
Another Shein reviewer discovered that two wedding rings she ordered were missing from her package. Despite this, she had positive things to say about Shein quality. She noted that she had never had issues with her orders:
this is the first time I hope they solve my problem soon. I recommend you buy from them they are reliable.
Shein is not alone in complaints about shipping and delivery. Consumers also raise questions about Temu quality when it comes to sending orders. One of the Temu consumers complained that they “ordered a 2 piece jump suit” but only “received the jacket without the pants.” The reviewer is hoping that the company will send along the pants as well.
In a similar situation, another customer complained about “missing two pairs of joggers”:
I have been waiting four days for a email back from you as to when theyre coming, or if youre just going to refund the amount of the two pairs of joggers to my cash app
Still, they also noted that they are an “avid Temu purchaser” and had not “had any problems thus far in my products or receiving my shipments.”
Temu vs Shein: Return Policy
Perhaps because of the variation in quality and timing of delivery, the Temu and Shein return policy is straightforward. The Shein return policy allows returns of most items within 35 days of the purchase date, and the company covers the cost of the first return.
That isn’t to say that all Shein returns go smoothly. One frustrated Shein customer ordered “about $1,500” worth of merchandise but had trouble returning it. They discovered that there is no Shein contact number and that “it’s a BOT to chat with” to try to resolve their many issues. In the review, the customer claims that they have “really aimed to show all their FRAUD” in regard to Shein customer service due to the issues they have had with trying to make returns. At the end, they recommended:
Do NOT BUY ANYTHING as tempting as those cheap prices are - you’ll end up making huge orders that they’ll say weren’t returned and you’ll be stuck with junk
The Temu return policy offers customers more time to make returns than Shein. This might give them a bit of an edge in the Temu vs. Shein comparison. Temu allows customers to return most items within 90 days of the purchase date. Like Shein, the cost of the first return from every order is covered by the company.
In the most discussed Temu review on the PissedConsumer platform, a customer explains her frustration with Temu customer service and her returns to the company. In her review, the customer explained that in “3 days I made 5 large orders totaling over$1000.00.” Then, when items arrived they were “packaged like untrained monkeys,” leading to otherwise excellent products being smashed or ripped. She then discovered that
TEMU states they have a 90 return but with TERMS people who BUY A LOT cant keep up or obtain…TEMU makes it near impossible to get a refund for items that dont show up - damaged and not as advertised.
Despite speaking to employees when she called the Temu contact number, she has not been able to resolve the issue and claims her experience is “a true nightmare.”
Temu vs. Shein: What’s the Best Option?
If you’re trying to determine which store is the best fit for you, you’ll need to consider the merchandise, quality, shipping, and customer service of each company. Even frustrated customers had positive things to say about both Temu and Shein, but those same customers noted that items go missing from shipments and returns can be a headache.
Overall, Shein had more negative reviews than Temu, and even when complaining, more Temu customers noted that they had not had previous issues or that the quality was sound in most of the things they ordered.
Based on the lack of contact information for Shein, the praise and issue resolution on the part of Temu, and the overall higher percentage of positive customer reviews, it would seem Temu is currently in the lead as the best choice between the two for 2024. Have comments or concerns of your own with either company? Please leave a review to discuss your own experiences or get help to resolve an issue.
*Disclaimer: Ranking and statistics are based on our users’ review texts and PissedConsumer posters’ reviews. Also, a company’s rating is calculated using a mathematical algorithm that evaluates the information in the profile, including users’ rating, the number of resolved issues, the number of company’s responses, etc. The algorithm is subject to change in the future.
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